Letter from Priority Homes – Access Clarification
WCRA submitted a letter to Woking Borough Council requesting clarification on an initial few points concerning:
- Why Moor Lane was discounted as an access route?
- Why the proposed Westfield Way route (12b) was selected?
- What was the likely sequence of road access development?
- What happens to the displaced residents of the demolished council houses?
A transcript of the reply is shown below and a pdf of the reply can be downloaded by clicking on the link here:[attachments docid=502 force_saveas=”0″ logged_users=”0″]
Mr Bill Corney
Westfield Common Residents Association
Surrey GU21 6YL
Telephone (01483) 755855
Facsimile (01483) 768746
DX 2931 WOKING
2nd June 2009
Dear Mr Corney
RE: Moor Lane Development
Thank you for your email dated 22nd May 2009 regarding the above proposed development. We have addressed each of your queries separately as follows.
Access from Moor Lane (option 1) – The application discounts use of Moor Lane due to 3rd party land ownership issues.
Could you elaborate on this matter please? Is the issue that ownership is uncertain or cannot be determined in which case the Council is unable to progress or is the issue that, this would add too much delay or cost to be worth progressing, i.e. via land searches and compulsory land acquisition. This point is significant in that the outline planning application identified this as one of the feasible routes in and therefore a number of residents expectations have been therefore disconfirmed.
The County Highways Authority (CHA) would require significant changes to Moor Lane for it to be used as a major access to the site.
Some of the land required to achieve the necessary road structure is not in the Council’s ownership and would require a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of 3rd party land. Indeed, it is unclear who owns some of the land. Added to this, if there is a viable alternative it would be difficult to justify a CPO.
To avoid this situation, Mayer Brown, an external highways consultant, was commissioned by the Council to assess whether there are other viable options using land already within the Council’s control. The study has shown that there is at least one feasible alternative, removing the need to use Moor Lane as a main access, while satisfying the CHA requirements.
Access from Westfield Way (options 9 a/b vs. 12b) – Can you elaborate?
Is option 12b favoured because this does not cause displacement of existing residents that would be incurred via either option 9a/b?
Options 9a and 9b would have indeed caused more disturbance to the residents than Option 12b, not only to those in the houses that would have had to be demolished, but also to those Westfield residents west of 9a and 9b accesses.
Access from Quartermaine (option 5) – In terms of construction / displacement of current residents.
Is it intended that this access route will be created at the later stages of the development i.e. after construction of phase 1 of the site.
The details of the phases will form part of the bidders proposals and are yet unknown.
Do the existing residents of these dwellings (which I understand to be council residents) then get priority in the housing register for housing allocation in the new site?
The existing residents will get priority on the housing register. Vacant possession and demolition of their houses will have to be achieved before Financial Close in September 2010.
We will be holding another public consultation during Autumn 2009. Details of the consultation will be made available to residents closer to the time. Your name has been added to our list of interested parties and we will ensure that you are made aware of the date.
We hope we have helped in some way to answer your queries. The Council will continue to keep residents informed as the project progresses. If you would like further information regarding Priority Homes please refer to Woking Borough Council’s website at www.woking.gov.uk/priorityhomes or call 01483 743891.
Priority Homes Team